Teacher Awareness of School Bullying in Bangladesh: A Review and Intervention

Author: Most. Aeysha Sultana

Sultana, Most. Aeysha, 2016 Teacher Awareness of School Bullying in Bangladesh: A Review and Intervention , Flinders University, School of Health Sciences

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School bullying has drawn the attention of mass media and some professionals in Bangladesh. However, no school bullying policies or curricula have yet been introduced for teachers and students. Further, no anti-bullying program has been tested in Bangladesh. The aim of the present research was to identify an anti-bullying program feasible for introduction in the Bangladesh context and assess its effectiveness. The present research was conducted using a mixed methods approach, with both qualitative and quantitative data collected. There were two phases. Study 1assessed the feasibility of introducing an anti-bullying program (or program components) in Bangladesh. Qualitative data were collected from 34 school Principals (or Head Teachers in the Bangladesh context) randomly selected from schools in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. An in-depth-interview technique was used. Head Teachers were sourced from government primary schools (8), nongovernment primary schools (8), government secondary schools (10) and non-government secondary schools (8). Findings of this initial study revealed teachers’ lack of understanding of bullying, favourable attitudes toward bullying (as normal behaviour), an unwillingness to deal with the problem, and a repertoire of actions to deal with bullying identical to those used with other unacceptable single acts (e.g., fighting, disputing). Primary school Head Teachers showed more favourable attitudes towards bullying as they considered bullying to be a part of normal development for younger children). The further value of Study 1 was the recommendation of some program components, and the identification of possible resources for, and barriers against, implementing an anti-bullying intervention. Study 2 sought to assess the impact of a bullying awareness program among primary school teachers in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) design was used, with 112 primary school teachers (53 from 3 primary schools in the control group and 59 from 3 primary schools in the intervention group), aged between 22 and 63 years. The bullying awareness program contained four sessions of two hours introduced over a fourweek period. Delivery methods used were discussion, storytelling and picture presentations. Outcome variables were knowledge of bullying, anti-bullying attitudes, intentions to deal with bullying, intention to implement a central bullying policy, and potential actions against bullying. Data were collected using self-report questionnaires at pre-test (one week prior to the program), post-test (one week after the program), and follow-up (four months later). Evaluation of the program and its implementation was also undertaken using the intervention group at follow-up. There were mixed results for program effectiveness. The number of teachers who defined bullying in terms of appropriate characteristics (more power of bully than victim, bully’s intention to harm victim, and bullying as repeat offending) and intentions to deal with bullying, were significantly increased in the intervention group compared with the control group, both from pre-test to post-test and at follow-up. The program’s impact on other outcome variables was not significant. Program evaluation revealed that the chosen materials were easy to understand and perceived as important for enhancing bullying awareness. The program provider, delivery method, and number and duration of sessions were also seen to be efficient and appropriate. Results of the research were discussed in terms of implications for future practice and research.

Keywords: school bullying, teacher awareness, Bangladesh
Subject: Health Sciences thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2016
School: School of Health Sciences
Supervisor: Paul Ward